Minister declines application for marine reserve
15 May 2008
Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton today rejected the proposal for a marine reserve covering 495 square kilometres on the northeast coast of Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf.
Jim Anderton said he had flown over the proposed reserve, and met with residents and the local hapu, Ngati Rehua, and the iwi, Ngatiwai on Great Barrier Island itself.
“I agree that it is a magnificent area that many value for different reasons. However, I don’t believe the interests of the public would be best served by creating such a large no-take marine reserve in this relatively remote area where access to the sea is a large part of life on the Island.
“Great Barrier Island is isolated with few shops and limited services. Many residents rely on the sea for food. Many also rely on fishing-related tourism, either directly or indirectly.
“While further marine protection could benefit eco-tourism in the area, a large no-take marine reserve may have negative effects on the local lifestyle and economy. I also carefully considered the effects on recreational and commercial fishers who use the area.”